SINFIO – A User-Friendly Hybrid Semantic Search Engine

Tracking #: 1839-3052

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Kinga Schumacher
Harald Sack

Responsible editor: 
Thomas Lukasiewicz

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Hybrid semantic search aims to close the gap between fact retrieval and semantic document retrieval. The combination of facts and documents throughout the entire search process is required in order to exploit available information in various representation forms to full extent. This leads to numerous challenges such as combining fact and document retrieval, merging facts and documents into hybrid results, ranking of differently structured results, etc. Moreover, to achieve user acceptance, the complexity of the system must be hidden from the user. Especially in the case of novel systems, an understandable presentation plays a key role. SINFIO, the hybrid semantic search engine described in this paper, offers a solution to the challenges mentioned above. Besides proving the gain on effectivity over a hybrid semantic search solution which does not combine facts and documents throughout the entire search process, this paper also presents the results of evaluations with respect to ranking and the user interface. The user studies show a clear acceptance of SINFIO. Despite novel hybrid results, users prefer SINFIO over the solution that does not combine facts and documents across the entire search process, over standalone fact retrieval as well as standalone document retrieval.
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